Press Release on Alito Confirmation
January 31, 2006
Brett Garner
Office: (801) 983-7383
Cell: (801) 573-4759

Ashdown Would Vote No to a Filibuster, No to Alito

SALT LAKE CITY, UT--After being contacted for a nationwide survey of
Democratic US Senate candidates, Pete Ashdown clarified his position on the
confirmation of Samuel J. Alito to the US Supreme Court. Ashdown made the
following statement Tuesday morning.

"On Monday, January 23, The Hill newspaper in Washington, DC, contacted me as
part of a national survey of Democratic US Senate challengers. During that
survey, I stated that, were I Utah's Senator, I would vote against confirming
Judge Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court. During these times of rigorous
debate over Executive power, I am concerned that Judge Alito's positions put
him in favor of the Executive branch over the Legislative and Judicial. We
need a nominee who values not only constitutional balance of power, but gives
balanced judgments neither conservative nor liberal."

"However, I do not support Democratic attempts to filibuster the nomination.
Furthermore, I do not support any filibuster of judicial nominees. I consider
the filibuster the immoral and unethical equivalent to Senator Hatch's
blocking of President Clinton's nominees from even receiving a hearing in the
Judiciary committee. The Judiciary is too important a branch to be held
hostage by partisan politics; whether it is a Republican chairman obstructing
nominees from receiving hearings or whether it's a Democratic minority
filibustering nominees from receiving a vote, I will not stand up as an
obstructionist. Obstruction is the last resort of people with no ideas of how
to change things.

"Opposition cannot merely be obstruction; opposition must be a viable
alternative. Democrats will never win a debate about judicial nominees when
their main strategy is obstruction. As a Senator, I will present a clear
vision as to who I would vote for our courts, including: checking and
balancing the other branches of government, protecting our Constitutional
rights, and enabling courts to become more accessible to more citizens. If
the people want a Judiciary based on this model, they should vote for me."

Ashdown will be available for comments from 3-4 PM MDT on Tuesday; he will
also be visiting three State of the Union watch parties at various times
tomorrow night. Contact the information above for more information.